He Rode Off, Real Loud, On A Cloud — Poems by Cody Walker
POETRY: Eight by Cody Walker
You do this, you do that, and then you die.
Ask a stone.
Ask the hollow part of the anklebone.
When My Daughter Asked
how Martin Luther King died, I had to say, “He was shot.”
I could have said, “He rode off, real loud, on a cloud.”
Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Keep Reaching for the Stars
say the police, who shoot anyway, from the protection of their police cars.
OK, a Dude’s Dead, But You Can Go
It looked like a gang sign —
and I work hard for what’s mine.
I hate to involve her,
but it was my grandma’s revolver.
I shot, like, one round.
(I was standing my ground.)
two samples of Ebola,
three “Yo man I’m down on my luck”s,
Five hats that don’t fit,
Six cigarettes that won’t stay lit,
Eight diamonds deemed phony,
Nine bottles of wine,
Ten bottles of wine.
Trades I Wouldn’t Make
Ragtime lessons for a bag of Smith & Wessons.
A crisis at the Presidio for that ISIS video.
My looks-cute-in-a-Bengals-cap daughter for tap water.
My other daughter (also cute) for, whoa, Beirut.
Is “Behind Blue Eyes” the meanest pop song ever written?
Or is it “Beth”?
And would anyone mind if I stomped this kitten to death?
Nobody, just the wind, never mind.
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Cody Walker is the author of Shuffle and Breakdown (Waywiser, 2008) and the co-editor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan, 2013). His recent work appears in Gigantic and The Best American Poetry 2015; it’s also featured on the Cartoon Bureau Blog of The New Yorker. His second poetry collection, The Self-Styled No-Child, will be published by Waywiser in 2016.